Seven years after Gang of Four
's breakup, founding members Jon King
and Andy Gill
reteamed for Mall
, a minor return to form that improves on 1983's abysmal Hard
but fails to recapture the ferocity of the band's most stunning work. Slickly produced, with a heavy emphasis on synthesizers and ersatz funk rhythms, the lyrical focus returns the group to the political arena: as suggested by the title, Mall
is laced with the usual examinations of consumerism and the economy, while the sample-heavy "F.M.U.S.A." is an essay on the Vietnam War. An odd cover of Bob Marley
's "Soul Rebel" rounds out the set.